UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
July 12, 2012
MAURICE WILLIAMS, PETITIONER,
NEW YORK STATE DIV. OF PAROLE, RESPONDENT
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge
MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER
Maurice Williams ("Petitioner") filed a Petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on December 20, 2010. (Dkt. No. 1.) By Report-Recommendation dated December 21, 2011, United States Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles recommended that the Petition be denied and dismissed as time-barred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), and that a certificate of appealability not issue. (Dkt. No. 13.) Petitioner filed objections to the Report-Recommendation on January 27, 2012, and February 17, 2012. (Dkt. Nos. 17, 18.) For the reasons set forth below, Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety, and the Petition is denied and dismissed in its entirety.
I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND
For the sake of brevity, the Court will not repeat the factual background of Petitioner's September 2006 conviction for weapons possession in the third degree but will simply refer the parties to the relevant portion of Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report-Recommendation, which accurately recites that factual background. (Dkt. No. 8 at Part I.)
A. Petitioner's Claims
Petition filed his Petition on December 20, 2010. (Dkt. No. 1.) Generally, in his Petition, Petitioner asserts the following three claims: (1) a claim that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over Petitioner because the charging instrument did not allege all of the elements to support the conviction (specifically, the "intent to use" element for weapons possession); (2) a claim that Petitioner's conviction was obtained by fraud and misrepresentation by the court and its personnel, attorneys of record, and law enforcement officials, because the charging instrument was "facially insufficient"; and (3) a claim that, by unlawfully and maliciously arresting, prosecuting and convicting Petitioner, Respondent has violated Petitioner's rights to due process, equal protection, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. (Id.)
B. Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report-Recommendation
On November 29, 2011, Magistrate Judge Peebles issued his Report-Recommendation in this action. (Dkt. No. 13.) In his Report-Recommendation, Magistrate Judge Peebles recommends dismissal of the Petition for untimeliness based on Petitioner's failure to file his petition within the one-year statute of limitations period under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). (Id. at Part III.) Magistrate Judge Peebles also determined that Petitioner cannot claim any exceptions to the one-year limitation. (Id.)
C. Petitioner's Objections to the Report-Recommendation
On January 27, 2012, and February 17, 2012, Petitioner filed his objections to the Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. Nos. 17, 18.) Although Petitioner's second set of objections were untimely, the Court will consider them out of special solicitude to him.
Generally, in his objections, Petitioner asserts the following three arguments: (1) the lower court should have held an evidentiary hearing on Petitioner's claims of improper and prejudicial conduct between the arresting officer and the NYS police investigator; (2) there was insufficient evidence to support the "intent to use" element of the weapons possession charge, and a preliminary hearing or grand jury procceeding should have been conducted to consider that fact; and (3) Petitioner's ineffective-assistance-of- counsel claims are unexhausted and should not be dismissed. (Id.)
II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS
A. Standard of Review
When a specific objection is made to a portion of a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation to a de novo review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). To be "specific," the objection must, with particularity, "identify  the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations, or report to which it has an objection and  the basis for the objection." N.D.N.Y. L.R. 72.1(c).*fn1 When performing such a de novo review, "[t]he judge may . . . receive further evidence. . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, a district court will ordinarily refuse to consider evidentiary material that could have been, but was not, presented to the magistrate judge in the first instance.*fn2
When only a general objection is made to a portion of a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation to only a clear error review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2),(3); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), Advisory Committee Notes: 1983 Addition.*fn3 Similarly, when an objection merely reiterates the same arguments made by the objecting party in its original papers submitted to the magistrate judge, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation challenged by those arguments to only a clear error review.*fn4 Finally, when no objection is made to a portion of a report-recommendation, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation to only a clear error review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), Advisory Committee Notes: 1983 Addition. When performing such a "clear error" review, "the court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation." Id.*fn5
After conducing the appropriate review, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
B. Standard Governing Review of Petitioner's Habeas Petition
Magistrate Judge Peebles has recited the legal standard governing review of Petitioner's habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). (Dkt. No. 13 at Part III.A.) As a result, that standard is incorporated by reference in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for review of the parties.
After carefully reviewing all of the papers in this action, including Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report-Recommendation, the Court agrees with each of the recommendations made by Magistrate Judge Peebles. Magistrate Judge Peebles employed the proper legal standards, accurately recited the facts, and correctly applied the law to those facts. (See generally Dkt. No. 8 at Parts I through IV.) As a result, the Court accepts and adopts Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report-Recommendation in its entirety for the reasons stated therein.
The Court would add only one point.Even when construed with the utmost of special liberality, Petitioner's objections fails to specifically challenge, or offer any new arguments regarding, Magistrate Judge Peebles' findings and recommendations regarding the statute of limitations. (Compare Dkt. Nos. 17 and 18 [Objections] with Dkt. No. 13 [Report-Recommendation].) As a result, this portion of Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report-Recommendation is subject to merely a clear-error review, which it easily withstands. Moreover, in any event, the Court would adopt this portion of the Report-Recommendation under even a de novo review.
ACCORDINGLY, it is
ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report-Recommendation (Dkt. No. 13) is ACCEPTED and ADOPTED in its entirety; and it is further
ORDERED that the Petition (Dkt. No. 1 ) in this matter is DENIED and DISMISSED; and it is further
ORDERED that a certificate of appealability not issue with respect to any of the claims set forth in the Petition as Petitioner has not made a "substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right" pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).